Sunday, April 3, 2011

Manila Bay, Pasig River informal settlers ask for SC protection

Members of the Urban Poor Associates (UPA) asked the Supreme Court to require government agencies to follow Republic Act 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 to protect not only the environment but the urban poor as well.

In a 15-page motion to issue compliance of RA 7279, the group said it should protect the housing rights of the urban poor especially those who live near Pasig River and Manila Bay.

While they said that they are not against the Manila Bay clean up, it would be better for the government to protect and preserve Manila Bay but also the right of the people who live nearby.

Early this month, the high court gave the Department of Environment and Natural Resources up to June 30 this year to submit a comprehensive plan on how to carry out its order.

The comprehensive plan would specify the duties and functions of each government agency included in the cleanup.

In 2008, the high court upheld the decisions of the Imus Cavite Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals requiring the DENR, the Manila Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) and 6 other government agencies to undertake specific tasks that would lead to the coordinated cleanup, restoration and preservation of Manila Bay.

The high court also gave the DENR until Sept. 30, 2011 to submit the names and addresses of persons and companies in Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, and Bataan that generate toxic and hazardous waste.

The Manila Bay clean-up decision has put to task the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to order all local government heads in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan and Bataan to inspect all factories, commercial establishments and residences along the banks of the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan rivers, the Navotas-Malabon-Tullahan-Tenejeros rivers, the Meycauayan-Marilao-Obando (Bulacan) rivers, the Talisay (Bataan) River, the Imus (Cavite) River, the Laguna de Bay and other minor rivers and waterways that eventually discharge water into the Manila Bay.


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